Jason Levien: The Bluff City Bewitcher

Look into my eyes... - Patrick McDermott

Close your eyes. You're getting very, very sleepy ... All you hear is the sound of my voice ... The Grizzlies' head coaching spot is extremely desirable...

And for his next trick, he'll take all the fat out of Gibson's donuts.

I'm cynically jesting, of course, but the psychology that's beginning to take over our head coach search is pretty cool. The Grizzlies have peeked into several cupboards, and now are doing double takes on some of the lesser likely candidates - specifically, Alvin Gentry and Ed Pinckney.

After meeting with George Karl yesterday, the Griz are speaking with in-house-assistant Dave Joerger and having Pinckney back for a second interview today. We still won't know anything before tomorrow, Thursday, when Gentry will be back for another, and there's no guarantee that Jason Levien & Co will be done there.

I expected a coaching hire to be made faster than the current pace is indicating, but the Griz brass has just given me more reason to expect the unexpected. It's methodical and almost nauseatingly thorough, and perhaps even strategically brilliant. What Levien is doing is similar to Tom Sawyer and white-washing the fence. It's my conjecture that he has a vision of making our head coaching vacancy look like the coolest damn job in the world, entertaining candidate after candidate and having some back for seconds.

I understand this could simply be the methodology of Pera and his cronies. It's an engineering-minded brain trust that uses various forms of math and science to make specific decisions and eliminate risks. But Levien is also a heavily politically influenced mind, and how did Pera describe him?

a cross between Jerry Maguire and Ari Gold from Entourage, only smarter.

That leads me to believe that there could be ulterior motives for plenty of the moves he has made and will make going forward. Not to say that he has the intent to deceive; it's more about opening up the possibilities for perceptions. It's not as dichotomous and rigid as the Heisley regime where decisions were more like consulting an Oracle that cast out inflexible decisions based on intuition. This is a shapeshifting hive of technicians that are always consuming information. Who knows their next move? I can't really pretend (anymore than I just have) to know, but it's very interesting to watch this new approach evolve, and I feel like it has the potential to change more about the city than just our NBA basketball team.

Like Mulli said, it's building the legend. And when I snap my fingers you'll wake up and not remember any of this.

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